New tote! + Elsewhere

"Bury me with yarn and needles" tote from Fringe Supply Co.

Sometime last year, my brain coined a funny phrase: Bury me with yarn and needles and I shall rest in peace. Morbid but lovely, right? I asked myself: If I were to print that on a tote bag, would anyone but me want to carry it around? Based on the response when we previewed it at the Squam Art Fair, the answer is a resounding yes! Thankfully, because when I love something, I really hope you will too! And am so thankful that you do. The tote is available today at Fringe Supply Co. and at yarn stores all over — ask for it at your LYS or order it here.

And with that, here’s a small but meaty Elsewhere!

– Off topic, but fascinating and so important — please read from start to finish! The nut behind the wheel

Lovely piece by Karen Peacock about her crochet life and her groovy Logalong sweater pattern

Comprehensive guide to sewing buttons onto your handknits

– And hooray! the custom croquis-maker MyBodyModel is now in beta

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PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere: Overlapping make-alongs

My pocket-sized life

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

This is my heart, my mind and my life — the last six months of it, anyway — in the form of a pocket-sized bullet journal, and I’m so deeply attached to it I can hardly even tell you. I’ve been sharing some of the spreads on Instagram the past few months (collected together under #ktminibujo) and have had requests that I write more about it. Ok!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a lifelong blank-book junkie. I’ve had more diaries, sketchbooks and datebooks than I could count (many of them still in a big rubbermaid tub that moves around with us from place to place) — but it’s been quite a few years. In more recent years, I’ve been tempted by Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal system, just because I love both organizational systems and paper so much, but “bujo” is sort of a cross between a planner and a diary. A paper-based planner is not really an option when your days are as complicated as mine, and I’ve never stuck with a diary for more than a few entries at a stretch. Still, I’m drawn to how flexible and customizable the basic concept is, and I’ve incorporated certain aspects of it into my web-based planner system. But seeing examples on Instagram of the incredible spreads and concepts people have come up with, within the larger #bulletjournal ecosystem, is incredibly inspiring to me. And then came my making journal, with its slight nods to bujo here and there. And then came the prototypes for the beautiful memo books (and leather cover) that finally made it into the webshop at the end of last week.

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

The samples came at a moment when I needed some help, to be honest. The first few months of this year were rough, and I was feeling both frayed and disconnected — from myself and everything else. One day, in looking at some of the “habit trackers” people have designed for themselves, I had an idea for charting my well-being and its influences, and I had the perfect notebook in which to do it! After that, I was besotted with my little book. It’s truly either in my hand, my pocket or right next to me at all times. Its very presence — the act of interacting with it — has done wonders for me.

There’s not much that’s core bujo in it, but it owes everything to the flexible, freeform, ever-evolving ethos of the system. There are no “dailies” or “weeklies” but there is a quarterly overview (a sort of “future log”) where I’ve listed top-level deadlines and initiatives for myself, to keep me focused on the big picture. In addition to my monthly “mood” charts with their occasional one-line entries about the day, there’s a page for each month that serves as a timeline, on which I record the highlights: travel, dinners out, time spent with friends. I’ve tried to make note of what we’re watching or reading or listening to, as I miss having a reading journal. And I’ve found myself actually writing a diary entry at the end of each month, sort of recapping life and where my head is at. But along the way, I’ve found myself craving more visual, dimensional, full-color representations of what I’m up to — to be able to actually SEE what I’m doing — which has taken all sorts of forms: from incorporating my spring make list into my Q2 priorities (which accounts for how much of it I’ve actually gotten done!) to enshrining my 10×10 outfits, logging my bathroom renovation measurements and shopping list, and sketching my Summer of Basics plan. I even included my little summer mood board because it makes me feel happy. I draw pictures and diagrams, glue things in, anything goes! And I have the notion that perhaps I’ll have prints made of a few relevant IG photos from the same time period, and enclose them at the end.

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

For all the books I’ve filled (or half-filled) in my years, I’ve never had anything like this one — so much more a reflection of the timespan than any written journal or datebook. And I love that I’ve got six months of life rather beautifully encapsulated in this small volume (or will, once the final four spreads are filled with Squam and Portugal this month). At that rate — two of these per year — even if I kept it up for 10 years, it would occupy very little space in the world and yet tell such a story.

So yes, I’m deeply attached to this notebook — the first thing I would reach for in a fire — and thankful to Ryder Carroll and every bujo-er who’s inspired me so far.

. . .

There’s nothing to say a bullet journal has to be beautifully designed or elegantly hand-lettered or anything at all — it can be as simple as what Ryder demonstrates in his video or whatever you want it to be! — but if you want to look at some of the bujo Instagram feeds I find most inspiring, see @abulletandsomelines, @vestiblr, @tinyrayofsunshine (so many others!) and of course @bulletjournal

And you can find my perfect little notebook over at Fringe Supply Co.

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

PREVIOUSLY: Do you keep a knitting journal?

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New pouches + new policies! (Please read)

Fringe Supply leather stitch marker pouch, now in 3 colors!

I have some big little news for today from the land of beautiful tools: Our ever-popular triangle stitch marker pouch is now available in two more colors of leather! In addition to the original Natural, it also now comes in Sienna (tan) and Black! (I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been petting my neighbor’s chihuahua or what, but I just had the urge to add “That’s hot.” I have never said that in my life! But I mean, it is.) We’ve updated the antiqued-brass stud and some other fine details, and it still comes loaded with 12 stitch markers (10 brass, 2 nickel) and ships in a little muslin bag. Such a great gift — either for yourself or your favorite knitter. And of course, we also have the larger leather tool pouch (in Natural only) plus every size, variety and interchangeable part of the Lykke Driftwood needles, all over at Fringe Supply Co.! Plus so much more, obvs.

I hope you have a relaxing long weekend planned (for those of you in the US), as I do not! So please indulge a little extra on my behalf. Fortunately, everything I have on my plate is exciting, even if there is a an excess of it. LOL. Thanks for all the great conversation on all my summer wardrobe planning posts the past few days! I’ll see you back here next week—

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Big shop news + LYS Day + More

Big shop news + LYS Day + More

Dear friends, there is so much happening I hardly know where to start! So let’s just take it in chronological order, shall we? Deep breath; here we go:

– In the shop today are two pretty new publications you’ll want for your library: Volume 5 of Making: Color and MDK Field Guide 6: Transparency — AND we finally got a box full of all the gorgeous horn and bone buttons you’ve been waiting on plus the ebony repair hooks are back in stock!

– BUT WAIT! In the shop tomorrow will be something many of you have dreamed of and begged for: Toffee Field Bags! You heard that right — the late, great, deeply loved, loudly lamented Toffee is making its return, as first announced on Instagram.

– BUT WAIT! If you want Toffee and there’s a Field Bag Stockist near you, you can get it there tomorrow, which happens to also be:

– LYS Day! Stores around the globe have all manner of exciting things planned, from special guests to limited goods to who knows what! And those shops that are Fringe Supply Co. stockists will have the Toffee Field Bag among their exciting offerings, and also the ever-popular Grey Field Bag! (Going forward, Grey will only be available through our stockists, and not through us.) So if it’s Toffee or Grey you seek, and you want it in your hands tomorrow, check the stockist page to see if your local yarn store is a Field Bag stockist. If not, you’ll also be able to order Toffee at Fringe Supply Co. as of Saturday morning. Either way, plan to visit your LYS tomorrow and see what fun stuff they have in store for you! And let them know how much you appreciate them.

– Sunday is Earth Day, and also the launch of a small business I’m very excited about: Rove + Weft. This is two women who come from the fashion industry and wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between textile artisans around the globe and those of us who want traceable, responsible fabrics to sew with. They’re launching with a small set of absolutely beautiful, gossamer cotton khadis from India, which you can see on their Instagram and will be able to order through their website as of Sunday. Sarah and Abby were kind enough to send me a few yards of two of the fabrics recently and they are lovely.

– And then Monday is the start of Fashion Revolution Week!

Which part are you most excited about? And whatever your plans, I hope you have a magnificent weekend—

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

New Favorites: Date night sweaters

New Favorites: Date night sweaters

It’s good that you guys LOVE New Favorites, because fate has given us two in a row! I have Things To Say about this whole 10×10 Challenge I’ve been doing, coming up later this week, but one thing that has been highlighted for me is how lacking my closet is on date-night clothes. Not that we go out anywhere particularly dressy or anything, but it always feels a bit weird to me to go out to dinner with my husband on a Saturday night in the exact same clothes I would I wear to work on any given morning. I’ve realized during the challenge that I pretty much wear the same silk top every time we go out, because (even though I wear it to work all the time, too) it’s the only thing I have that’s sort of soft and pretty. But that means for much of the year I’m underdressed, shivering in my chair. So I got to thinking about the possibility of knitting a date-worthy sweater or two just before the new Helga Isager book arrived at our Fringe Supply door, like an answer to a question I’d only just started to form. You can read more about the book in the webshop, but it contains at least two strong date-night contenders:

TOP: C6 (Cable 6) is knitted sideways, with cables running up the arms and across the neckline. I love the soft marl constrasting with the non-marl cuffs and waistband.

BOTTOM: SSK (Slip, Slip, Knit) is similar in many ways [edit: also knitted sideways], with elbow sleeves and an eyelet detail rather than the bolder cables. It might also be lovely in linen or a linen blend.

They’re like the winter and spring/fall counterparts to each other!

Actually, nearly all of the sweaters in the book are date-worthy. Isager has such a way with making things pretty yet not too girly for me. You can see the whole collection on Ravelry and buy the book at Fringe Supply Co.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Staithes Gansey and how to knit one

Block those knits! (Block those mitts!)

Block those knits! (Block those mitts!)

If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram for any length of time, you’ve no doubt seen countless photos of my damp knitting pinned neatly to my beloved interlocking blocking board. Blocking is one of the very most important factors in how polished your finished work will look, and taking the time to do it — and do it well and thoroughly — is more than worth it. Once you start taking care with that step and seeing the results, there’s no going back. And “Where did you get your blocking board?” is one of the most frequent questions I get. About five years ago, I bought a Cocoknits Knitter’s Block kit and it’s been truly one of the best investments I’ve made in my knitting. Now that the kit is even better looking than it used to be, I’ve finally made it available for you at Fringe Supply Co.! This is one tool I truly would not want to knit without. (For thoughts from me and a bevy of commenters about best blocking practices, see How do you block your finished knits?)

Speaking of knitting tools, we’ve also added a sweet little Fringe Supply Co. Tool Kit to the shop in the past week — our Fringe canvas tool pouch packed with 7 of our most loved and useful tools! (We have just a few left at the moment, and will be sure to make more.)

RELATED: BLOCKING LOG CABIN MITTS

This seems like a good opportunity for a gentle reminder that if you’re making Log Cabin Mitts, it’s important to pause when your squares are done and block them. Log cabin knitting, in particular, can be pretty bunchy and twisty as you’re changing the direction of your knitting all the time. Taking a minute to soak your square, pin it to size in a neat, straight grid, and allow it to dry completely before proceeding will lead to much better finished results once you’ve added the thumbs. You won’t believe how much nicer your square looks after it’s blocked! While you can always re-soak your mitts, you’ll never be able to get that log cabin block to cooperate quite like you can while it’s still flat. It’s just a bitty little square and will dry overnight, so it’s not really even much of a wait!

Block those knits! (Block those mitts!)

+ TEACHING LOG CABIN MITTS

Last but not least, I’m blown away by how many people are apparently teaching classes around my Log Cabin Mitts pattern. Some I’ve heard from, some I’ve happened across … and who knows how many others I don’t even know about! If you are teaching it, that’s cool — thank you for spreading the love — but I do have one requirement and one request:

The requirement: Each student in the class must be provided a copy of the pattern in its original, unaltered state.

The request: Inspired by Knit Stitch, if you’re charging for the class, please donate some portion of the proceeds to a homeless or women’s shelter in your area. Thank you!

Happiest of Fridays, everyone — thank you for reading!

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Toffee mitts + YARN for sale (2018 FO-6)

Toffee mitts + YARN for sale

So you know how I’ve been using these Log Cabin Mitts as a way to finally knit up some of the incredible skeins I have sitting around on shelves and in bins? Obviously one of the first ones I reached for is this delicious toffee-colored wool I bought from what was then TN Textile Mill (previously and once again Shutters & Shuttles) at Porter Flea in late 2016. The yarn had been custom-milled for a project that didn’t come to fruition and I’ve been intermittently pestering Allison ever since about what would happen to it. (If you don’t know, Allison now works part-time at Fringe Supply Co. keeping the trains running.) Today I’m thrilled to announce that I was able to acquire the remaining skeins from her and they’re for sale in the shop! This is the DK weight in Toffee, but there’s also a chunky weight, and both weights are available in Toffee and Black. Obviously supply is inherently limited, and I’ve hoarded some for myself! So get it while it lasts, whatever you may opt to use it for.

Related: Remember it’s only a week until I pick winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong, so get those projects posted, whatever state they’re in! Full details on all of that here.

In other news, I’m off to Stitches West for the weekend (first time since I moved away), where I’ll be alternately roaming the show floor and hanging out by the big Fringe display in the A Verb for Keeping Warm booth (917/919), so if you’re there, please say hi!  Verb will have a full range of Fringe goods, including a stack of the limited-edition Mini Porters, and they’ve also made up exquisite little mini-skein bundle Log Cabin Mitts Kits! If you aren’t at the show, they’ve made a small number of kits available on their website.

Have a great weekend — I look forward to seeing some of you! — and I’ll be back on Monday.

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PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Ebony and ivory

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